I had dinner last evening with friends and family. As such gatherings go, conversations bounced around to various topics. Somehow current electricity rates came up and I mentioned how much our household paid last month. One of our friends laughed and said, "HaHa!!! My monthly bill is now nothing. We have solar panels."
Me: "That's cool but you had to pay the cost of the panels."
Friend: "HaHa, again!!! Got the panels cheap. Federal and state government rebates paid most of the cost for the original purchase and installation. Plus, now we're a small, independent business — energy producers — who can sell our extra energy back to the grid."
Me: "Sweet! Isn't it great to live in America. And, you built your small business ALL by yourself, right?"
Friend: "Absolutely ... no help from anyone."
My friend and his wife are Republicans who live in a large, fancy home in a gated community. They continually rant about their "high" taxes and "wasteful government spending." When asked about their political leanings, they consider themselves to be "libertarians." People should do for themselves, not rely on government, in their opinion.
Me: "You're welcome!"
Friend: "You're welcome ... for what?"
Me: "For your solar panels. My taxes, and the taxes of everybody in the room, helped launch and support your small business. Isn't it wonderful how we're all connected — just roots of the Tree of Life."
Friend: "Why are you such a troublemaker? This is a fun gathering and you're always turning things around to make everything political."